Google’s New Duo

New devices by Google are adding to the choice, but are they worth waiting for?

By Echelon.

Published on September 17, 2012 with No Comments

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By Dinidu de Alwis

Google has a knack for introducing hardware which in turn would showcase what the company’s software teams have been working hard at. While the hardware comes from different companies, Google manages to load the latest that the Mountain View based gurus have been working at. This year they announced a trio of gadgets: a phone, a tablet, and a soon to be launched media hub. The media sharing device, dubbed Google Q, may however be of little use here in Sri Lanka.

Google’s new phone is already available in Sri Lanka but the tab isn’t though many Asian retailers offer to ship it here, so both devices deserve reckoning for someone in the market for a smart phone or a tab. Going by trends the Asus manufactured tablet might also become available sooner than later.

Galaxy nexus

Retailing Around Rs67,000/-

IN A NUTSHELL

Excellent hardware, along with non-cluttered interface makes this one of the fastest and most responsive Android devices. Seamless integration of all Google services – Gmail, Contacts, Google Drive – is a given. Google’s Android platform was launched in October 2008, with the G1. Then the phone was made by HTC. Google stuck by HTC for the next few phones, the Google Nexus in January 2010 and the Nexus S in December the same year. For the new incarnation of the Nexus phone, Google has moved to Seoul-based Samsung Electronics. The Galaxy Nexus comes with a dual-core 1.2Ghz processor with 1GB RAM. The 4.65in screen is HD capable. The transitions, which are already silky-smooth, will be made even faster when the standard Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) gets its upgrade.

Whilst the camera is capable of full-HD video recording, it’s still a 5-megapixel affair. And for this range, the Galaxy Nexus’s competitors are offering cameras which boast 8-10 megapixels. The super-AMOLED screen, a first for Samsung, will boost viewing angles and enhanced colour reproduction.

Going with the Galaxy Nexus would – like in the case of any android phone – mean complete integration with all of Google’s services without hassle. It would in addition mean that the phone would be the first for OS updates that Google would roll out over the next year.Being a so called pure-form edition of the Android operating system means the phone will come without any custom-skinned interfaces or any irremovable bloatware. This has both good and bad. Google Play Store now has about 40,000 apps for the Android platform and the number keeps growing.

CONCLUSION

Google goes back to its roots offering a handset for the Android purist, bundled with Samsung’s excellent hardware. So it’s a relatively less cluttered and as a result faster Android phone.

WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE?

Apple iPhone 4S – Rs105,000/- 

Apple iPhone 4S runs Apple’s own iOS, boasts an 8-megapixel camera and the new extremely sharp Retina Display. The downside is that iTunes has to be used to do any form of connectivity to a computer.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy S3 – Rs95,000/- 

Also an Android phone with better hardware, 8-megapixel camera and slightly faster processor. It runs the same Ice Cream Sandwich version of Android as the Galaxy Nexus, but with Samsung’s user interface tweaks.

 

 

HTC One X – Rs85,000/-

HTC’s One X has the fastest processor among the Android handsets discussed here. It comes with HTC’s time-tested Sense UI, which – once gotten used to – is extremely difficult to live without.

 

 

Google Asus nexus

 

Retailing Around Rs45,000/- With International Shipping

 

IN A NUTSHELL

Blazingly-fast hardware in an easy to carry package, excellent screen with HD video, a super-fast interface and all-day battery life. The Big downer is the lack of mobile data, so it’s dependent on WiFi. Google’s maiden entry into the tablet market is the Nexus 7 tablet. Made by Taiwan based Asus, the tablet has a 7-inch 800×1280 resolution screen, a quad-core Tegra 3 processor running at 1.3GHz, and 1GB of RAM. There is only one camera (1.2-megapixel, front-facing, capable of recording 720p video), and the device is equipped with full-spectrum WiFi support and GPS. “It would have the portability of a paperback book, but be connected to the entire digital world with all kinds of entertainment,” Matias Duarte, the user experience director for Android, said introducing the device. The device promises to last all day during normal usage.

Like other android devices, this integrates perfectly with the entire platform of services Google offers. Gmail has come a long way since the OS was launched, and tablet editions of all the applications – YouTube, Earth, Gmail, Currents – are now fully optimised for large screens.

CONCLUSION

Once in a while, a manufacturer comes up with a device that revolutionises the market. Apple did it with the iPod, iPhone and iPad, Google did it with the G1, HTC did it with the Legend back in 2008, and Google has done it now. Sitting almost at the bottom end of the price bracket, the Asus-Google partnership delivers a device which has no competition whatsoever at this price point. However the big downside is it only has WiFi internet connectivity, which Sri Lankan users have spurned in the past because public WiFi networks are hard to come by.

WHAT ELSE IS OUT THERE?

 

Apple’s basic iPad is more than twice the price. While dedicated Apple users will swear by the iOS platform, it does not offer the flexibility that Android does. Plus there is, again, the price.

 

 

 

 

 

Samsung’s 7-inch 
Galaxy Tab has a screen the same size but with fewer pixels, and the processor has half the power of the Google Nexus 7. Samsung’s 7-inch Galaxy at 66,000/- is also pricier. But that’s the premium for mobile network connectivity

 

 

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